After one week doing foster care, I was feeling rather proud of myself for being up early,  keeping my patience, and enjoying each moment with our new little one, and then this happened . . .

(Note: I will now refer to the child in our care as “kiddo” or “them” depending on the context.)

 

“Kiddo” clung to me tight as we ran from the chain store out into the freezing -20 temps and back to the car where our two dogs were patently waiting. Once “them” was buckled in tight, I pushed the cart off to the side and thought to myself that if it wasn’t so cold I would have gladly brought the cart to the return.

The mall was next, and though driving there wasn’t very far, the roads were so icy I was glad we had recently invested in an all-wheel drive.

After grabbing a new winter jacket and warm hat for “Kiddo”, I approached the department store rep.

“I have a couple of returns too,” I said, placing all the items on the counter.

“No problem,” the rep said, “I’ll just need your store card to get things started.”

I looked down at “Kiddo” and smiled then began rifling through the return store bag for my wallet, but it wasn’t there.

“Well,” I said, “this is embarrassing, but I think I left my wallet in the car.”

The rep understood, assuring me my items would be held there safely until I got back.

Laughing to myself, I bundled up “Kiddo” for the frigid walk back to the car.  As we approached the side door, the two dogs’s began thumping their tails.

I greeted the dogs, seated “Kiddo” comfortably with a snack to pass the time, and then began checking each of the chain store bags, confident my wallet was thrown in one of them.

No such luck.

Panic stricken, I frantically began checking under the seats.

Nothing.

“Kiddo,” I said, “I am feeling very sad, because I can’t find my wallet, and I don’t know what to do.”

The dogs wagged their tails even harder and “Kiddo” laughed.

Since I don’t carry a purse, I began rechecking every shopping bag.

Still nothing.

I went around to the passenger door and opened it. Maybe it was wedged between it and the seat.

Nope.

Heart racing, I grabbed “Kiddo” and rushed back into the department store. Did I leave it on the floor or on a table in the children’s department?

I searched and searched and came up short. The rep said he’d be on the look out and notify others in the store.

Growing frantic, I ran back out to the car. By then I was “cold” sweating and panting worse than my dogs.

After getting “Kiddo” buckled in, I started to think back on where I last remember seeing my wallet. I know I had it as we were leaving the chain store. I recall throwing it in the cart along with all of the shopping bags.

It must still be in the cart!

I began taking in deep breaths to keep myself as calm as possible as we pulled out of the mall parking lot. I steered back into traffic and toward the chain store.

Moments later my one-year old puppy, JayJay, was whining and whimpering so loudly I could barely hear myself think. And from the foul smell in the air she had to go poop, and I mean bad!

“JayJay,” I yelled, “please be patient and hush. I’m going as fast as I can.”

JayJay continued to whine and to whimper. My inner worrier grew louder in my head.

Ahhh! My wallet is gone! This proves my entire identification has officially been flipped on its head!

I turned on my blinker to take a left. That’s when BOTH dogs began crying so loudly I could barely hear myself think.

As we turned into the store parking lot, the front wheels hit a patch of ice and my lips launched out the f-bomb so loud and so fast that I surprised myself!

Fish tailing the car back into alignment, I began taking long, slow, deep breaths.

“Kiddo’s” jaw was still dropped when I peered into the rear view mirror.

Just keep acting natural, I told myself, not wanting to draw more attention to my potty mouth.

As I drove back to the spot I had previously parked, I desperately said a prayer, “Please let my wallet still be there.”

But, the shopping cart was gone!

ete

-Part II coming soon-

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